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Welcome to "Mike's Memo," an update on what's happening in the 48th Legislative District, the State Capitol, and the progress of my legislative priorities. If you haven't done so already, please take a few moments to visit my website at www.senatorfolmer.com to learn more about issues that may affect you and your family.

Week of December 26, 2016
Season's Greetings!

On behalf of my staff, and my family, I would like to wish you and your family a wonderful Holiday Season, and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!

Please note: Both of my offices will be closed on December 23rd, 26th, 29th and 30th.
My Lebanon District Office will also be closed on January 2nd.

Applications for Medical Marijuana Grower/Processors and Dispensaries
PA Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy announced the applications for medical marijuana grower/processors and dispensaries will be available January 17th. Permit applications will be accepted from February 20th to March 20th. According to Secretary Murphy, “In the first phase of the program, there will be up to 12 permits issued for grower/processors across Pennsylvania’s six medical marijuana regions, and up to 27 permits issued for dispensaries. The decision for which counties will be issued permits in this first phase was determined by using the department’s medical data, as well as comments from more than 5,000 patients and nearly 900 potential grower/processors and dispensary applicants.” Questions about the Medical Marijuana Program can be emailed to RA-DHMedMarijuana@pa.gov, and further information is available on DOH’s website.

Industrial Hemp Pilot Research Program Cost-Sharing Program
PA Department of Agriculture (PDA) Secretary Russell Redding announced a cost-sharing program for the 2017 industrial hemp research growing season. Under the program, PDA will award $1,000 to hemp research program permit recipients to off-set administrative costs. Applications will be available as early as fall 2017 through the PDA’s Bureau of Market Development. Researchers who successfully completed a PDA approved permitted hemp research project are eligible to apply, as long as the researcher has submitted a final report. Funding for the cost share comes from remaining dollars in PDA’s Agricultural Research appropriation and availability in future years depends on funding.

Under the Industrial Hemp Pilot Research Program guidelines released on December 1st, a maximum of 30 projects of five acres each will be selected for the 2017 growing season. PDA will select projects based on their application and quality of the research proposal, and will only approve products or uses that would use hemp fiber, seed or oil derived from seed for industrial purposes. The deadline to apply for the 2017 PDA Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program is January 6, 2017. Applications will be reviewed, and those applicants who are tentatively approved for research projects will be notified by February 17, 2017.

Congratulations to Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce Award Winners
Humane Society of Lebanon County – Non-Profit of the Year Award
Karen Groh, IA Design – 2016 Bob Harris Chairman’s Award
Christine Horn, Columbia Cottage – 2016 Athena Award
Dave Tyndall, Right at Home – Ambassador of the Year Award


Contact Information
Please feel free to contact me at any time on state-related issues that are of concern to you. I may be reached through my website or my Lebanon or Harrisburg offices.

When contacting my office by e-mail, mail, or telephone, please be sure to share your e-mail, telephone number, and address so that we can follow up with you in a timely manner. Many inquiries can be handled with a phone call or email.

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